16 November, 2010

My friend, Babor

Living in this communication-saturated world, unsolicited commercial email (UCE or "spam") is pretty much inevitable. It no longer shocks me when I receive emails from one "Kesha Willow" advertising the sale of "Incredib1e penislong pill" or emails from a person who is named "me" with the subject line "mr. emflynn, get super prices." Why would I address myself with a formal title in my own email, and an incorrect one at that? That's just ridiculous, Mr. Spammer.

The majority of this spam is simple, penis-enhancing messages or codeine offers (discounted at 99 percent!) that don't humanize the sender in any way. I can deal with these types of emails. (And by me, I mean google's spam folder, which neatly disposes of nearly all of the spam within 30 days. Simple, efficient, hands-off. Spam me all day long, spammers! I gots my google team on it.)

But then my facebook messages were infiltrated, and it touched me in a way I didn't fully anticipate.

It was October 2nd, 2010. A Saturday. I received a private message from one "Babor" with the simple subject line, "business letter from Babor, Retired principal officer, Grameen Bank." Here is what Babor told me.

"To: Emily

From: Md. Babor Ali
Managing Director
House-177, Road-10, Block-F,
Bashundhara Residential Area,
Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Email: baborali@gmail.com,
Phone: 01190298727

Dear Emily,

How are you? This is Md. Babor Ali I was your coordinator during your internship at Grameen Bank, in Bangladesh. I got retirement on August, 08, 2010. I start garments business. I am exporting garments from Bangladesh to USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and Africa. As you were my intern please help me to find a buyer from your country or you could start business. It’s a profitable business.
I am providing my business profile bellow.
Profile of our Organization

House-177, Road-10, Block-F,
Bashundhara Residential Area,
Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Email: baborali@gmail.com,
Phone: 01190298727"

"Wow," I thought to myself. "That is a lot of contact information. Seems legit..." I mulled it over for a second. Then I called my sister.

"Did I ever have an internship at Grameen Bank?"
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Oh, nothing. Just curious... have you ever heard me mention the name Babor Ali?"

The fact that this guy had actually found me on facebook is impressive enough. All those privacy settings I set up long ago have to mean something, right? (...right?) Maybe I should be one of the first investors in his budding garments business. Whenever you are on the cusp of the opportunity of a lifetime and yet, at the end of the day, ultimately decide against it, there is always that nagging question: what if? What... if?

What if I invested some of my non-existent money in an out-of-the-blue solicitation from an internship that I never held in a country I've never been to by a man I've never heard of? What if I legitimately became his intern, and helped him build a, as he put it, "business profile," a profile that has more substance than just the name of his "business" with its address? This could be the opportunity of a lifetime. All thanks to Babor!

But, as it usually goes with all things on facebook, I got distracted. I spent an embarrassing amount of time sifting through other people's facebook photos. Sometime later, I signed off. I went about my life.

Because the power of the facebook is stronger than us mere mortals can resist, later that night I signed back on. I checked out the "top news" section that always brims with the daily inanities from friends and acquaintances both close and... not so close. While scoping about, I noticed something. It was a message, a new message for me! What could it possibly say?

"Emily this is Md. Babor Ali. I was doing my job at the Nobel winner organization Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. On August 08, 2010 I got retirement and start garments business. Here in Bangladesh people are poor. For that a lot of man power is cheap here. People established garments factory and sending their product to USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and Africa.
After getting retirement I started this business here and collecting product from factory and sending to those countries. Above mentioned organization I established and doing well. Now I need your help. I have a lot of interns of the globe, they could start importing garment product that produced by the hand touch of the poor people. So now my new initiative is also with the poor people.
• To eradicate poverty,
• To create employment opportunity.
• To meet the appropriate expectations of clients.
• To add substantial contribution into the national exchequer.

• Knit Fabric: Single Jersey, Heavy Jersey, Pique, Lacoste, Interlock, Eight lock design, Rib, Pleated design, Rib, French terry, Fleece, Collar and cuff of Cotton, Viscose, Modal, Cotton viscose, Viloft, Polyester, Cotton Polyester, CVC, Synthetic, fiber & micro fiber, x-static, and also made of polyamide, tactel, Coolmax, Suplex etc. by making order to renewable garments factory.
• Garments: T-shirt, Polo shirts, Sweat-shirt, Golf-shirt, Tank tops, Kids wear, Jogging suits, Runners pant, Skirolly, Functional wear, Fashion dress, Under garments, Sports wear etc. by making order to renewable garments factory.
• Garments: long sleeves, shorts sleeves, Denim long pants, Kargo short pant for mens, ladies, boys, girls, kids by making order to renewable garments factory.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you once again.
Best Regards,


How, in the name of all that is good and holy, could I attempt to deny Md. Babor Ali my assistance with his new initiative, "the poor people?" Only a truly selfish person would deny importing such "garment product" made by the "hand touch of the poor people" to the United States. Isn't that what our grand country is based upon? But yet, if his cause was so right, why did it all suddenly feel so wrong?

This new email brought forth too many questions. What was a "national exchequer?" Why would he assume that I would know what a "Viloft" or a"Skirolly" was? Why did he spell the word cargo with a "k?"

The more I read, the more I started to notice other things. Why didn't his verb tenses match throughout the sentence? Why didn't he mention my alleged internship at the Grameen Bank anymore?

"Babooooor!" I shouted, shaking my fist at the heavens above. "Why must you do these things to me!?" 

I did not respond to his request. And ever since, my facebook messages have been eerily absent of one Md. Babor Ali from Grameen Bank. Did I mean nothing to him? Did he take me for a fool? Since it's notoriously difficult to get any direct answers from Facebook, I may never be able to answer these questions for myself. I suppose I could try to contact him directly. I mean, I do have all his contact information. I'm just not sure I am ready to trust again...

So if you're interested in investing in a "profitable garments business," let me know. I know a guy.